2013 County Cricket Preview - Part One
Captain: Mark Wallace (first-class cricket), Marcus North (one-day cricket)
Overseas player: Marcus North
In: Michael Hogan (Western Australia), Murray Goodwin (Sussex)
Out: Robert Croft (retired), Chris Ashling, Aneurin Norman, Mike O’Shea (all released), James Harris (Middlesex), Moises Henriques (overseas)
Glamorgan will miss James Harris, but have found a more than able replacement in Michael Hogan. Support for him, however - Wagg apart - looks thin on the ground, while run-scoring will depend on Marcus North and Jim Allenby. Murray Goodwin could prove a shrewd signing, especially in one-day cricket, and has a lot to prove after his axing by Sussex.
Predictions - CCD2: 4th (6th in Div Two), YB40: Group stage (6th in Group B)
Main man: Michael Hogan. Western Australia coach Justin Langer was so impressed by Hogan that he tried to persuade him not to turn his back on the land of his birth and move to Glamorgan. In the Warriors’ just concluded Sheffield Shield campaign, Hogan was their leading wicket-taker with 30 in nine matches at an average of 25.
Young player to watch: Andrew Salter is an off-spinner who will have to play whenever Glamorgan choose to play two spinners in the Championship - always a possibility in Cardiff. Robert Croft’s retirement has allowed Salter a free run at establishing himself as the club’s best off-spinner, while Dean Cosker’s barren run in 2012 if continued could yet see Salter end 2013 as Glamorgan’s first choice spinner in all formats.
Batsmen: Gareth Rees (LHB/LM), Stewart Walters (RHB/LB), Marcus North (LHB/OB), Ben Wright (RHB/RM), Murray Goodwin (RHB), Chris Cooke (RHB), David Lloyd (RHB/OB).
All-Rounders: Jim Allenby (RHB/RM), Nick James (LHB/SLA), Ruaidhri Smith (RHB/RM), Graham Wagg (RHB/LMF).
Wicket-keepers: Mark Wallace (LHB), Will Bragg (LHB).
Bowlers: Mike Reed (RHB/RFM), John Glover (RHB/RMF), Simon Jones (LHB/RFM), Huw Waters (RHB/RMF), Michael Hogan (RHB/RFM), Will Owen (RHB/RMF), Alex Jones (RHB/LFM), Andrew Salter (RHB/OB), Dean Cosker (RHB/SLA).
Captain: Michael Klinger
Overseas player: Michael Klinger
In: Michael Klinger (Worcestershire), Gareth Roderick, Cameron Herring, Matt Taylor (all youth)
Out: Anthony Ireland (Leicestershire), Jonathan Batty (retired), David Wade (released), Ed Cowan, Kane Williamson, Rob Nicol (all overseas)
Gloucestershire have been hit hard by the early-season absences through injury of Ian Saxelby and Paul Muchall. Michael Klinger will do his best to lead the side, but will need his youngsters - Chris Dent, James Fuller, Dan Housego et al - to perform if anything other than bottom of the table is on the cards.
Predictions - CCD2: 8th (9th in Div Two), YB40: Group stage (3rd in Group A)
Main man: Michael Klinger will have a similar role to play at Gloucestershire as Paul Collingwood does at Durham. He will have to lead with the bat and as captain, with Hamish Marshall as his able deputy just as Dale Benkenstein is Collingwood’s at Durham. A 1000 runs from both Marshall and Klinger is a must of total embarrassment is to be avoided.
Young player to watch: The retirement of Jonathan Batty has left a three-way shoot-out for the position of first choice gloveman at the County Ground in Bristol. Richard Coughtrie will start in pole position after covering for Batty in 2012, but Gareth Roderick will hope to push him hard. The South African is a new signing after helping Cheltenham earn promotion to the Premier Two division in the West of England Premier League. He scored more than 1000 runs in 16 matches at the Bradmanesque average of 87.93.
Batsmen: Michael Klinger (RHB), Ian Cockbain (RHB/RM), Chris Dent (LHB/SLA), Dan Housego (RHB/LB), Hamish Marshall (RHB/RM), Alex Gidman (RHB/RM).
All-Rounders: Will Gidman (LHB/RMF), Benny Howell (RHB/RM), Jack Taylor (RHB/OB), Ed Young (RHB/SLA), Paul Muchall (RHB/RMF).
Wicket-keepers: Richard Coughtrie (RHB), Gareth Roderick (RHB), Cameron Herring (RHB).
Bowlers: Matt Taylor (RHB/LMF), James Fuller (RHB/RFM), Graeme McCarter (RHB/RM), Craig Miles (RHB/RM), David Payne (LHB/LMF), Ian Saxelby (RHB/RMF), Liam Norwell (RHB/RM).
Captain: Jimmy Adams
Overseas players: George Bailey (until August apart from June), Saeed Ajmal (September)
In: Michael Roberts, Jack Sheppard (both youth), George Bailey, Saeed Ajmal (both overseas), Adam Wheater (Essex)
Out: Kabir Ali, Simon Katich (both Lancashire), Bilal Shafayat (released)
A strong overseas line-up, the recruitment of Adam Wheater, and young players nearing the expected peak of their careers should add up to a serious challenge at promotion in 2013. The bowling attack has plenty of options, while the all-rounder department is particularly handsomely stocked, meaning that success in all formats is achievable.
Predictions - CCD2: Winners (4th in Div Two), YB40: Winners (Winners)
Main man: Jimmy Adams will captain and open the batting for Hampshire in 2013 and will carry an increasingly heavy batting burden, particularly when overseas player George Bailey is away with Australia. Neil McKenzie’s availability is again limited to the latter half of the year, while Simon Katich has been poached by Lancashire. Adams was the only Hampshire player to score more than 1000 first-class runs last season as youngsters James Vince and Liam Dawson struggled.
Young player to watch: Opener Michael Roberts has taken the unfashionable route of Minor Counties and second XI cricket to get to a maiden first-team contract. In an age when Academy graduates are all the rage, he has had to work hard for his chance and also played for the Unicorns in 2012. However, it was his form for Hampshire’s second XI that caught the eye - he emerged from seven Second XI Championship matches with an average of 50.83 having scored 610 runs.
Batsmen: Jimmy Adams (LHB/LM), Michael Carberry (LHB/OB), James Vince (RHB/RM), Neil McKenzie (RHB), George Bailey (RHB/RM), Sean Terry (RHB/OB), Michael Roberts (RHB/OB).
All-Rounders: Liam Dawson (RHB/SLA), Sean Ervine (LHB/RMF), Dimitri Mascarenhas (RHB/RMF).
Wicket-keepers: Adam Wheater (RHB), Adam Rouse (RHB), Michael Bates (RHB).
Bowlers: Jack Sheppard (RHB/RFM), Hamza Riazuddin (RHB/RFM), James Tomlinson (LHB/LM), Chris Wood (RHB/LM), David Balcombe (RHB/RMF), David Griffiths (LHB/RFM), Danny Briggs (RHB/SLA), Saeed Ajmal (RHB/OB).